Weekly Home Help with items on protecting your lawn from insect infestations, a new home-selling tip, how to use mulch and more.

Here are some tips to make your home and landscape less of a target for pest and insect infestation: 


Choose plants wisely: Many insect and disease issues can be prevented by selecting plants that are less prone to insect problems. For example, native plants are less inviting to pests when planted where sun and soil are right for them.


Essential nutrients: Proper fertilization is essential to strong plant development and helping to sustain optimum plant growth and resistance to insects, diseases and environmental stresses. When fertilized properly, plants are supplied with the essential nutrients (i.e. nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) they need for strength and growth.


Know the symptoms: Often, the evaluation of plant symptoms can provide an effective indication of the insect type.


Clean up debris: Along with applying bait, you should also remove loose debris from around the home and at the foundation of plants. This includes fallen leaves or dropped fruit. Pests often use these types of debris for nesting and feeding.


-- Amdro/ Family Features


Decorating Tip: Finding a high-quality dresser


Graduated drawers, which tend to be smaller at the top of the dresser and larger at the bottom, are a good indicator of high-quality product design when shopping for a dresser. A less-expensive design will often have drawers of the same size.


-- HGTV/ Scripps Howard News Service


Home-Selling Tip: Remodeling the kitchen


If you're thinking about remodeling your kitchen before putting it on the market, consider these updates: reface the cabinets with new doors and drawers; put in new stainless steel appliances; update with resilient flooring and laminate countertops; finish with neutral wall paint.


-- FrontDoor.com


New Product: Samsung adds Gesture Shot to camera


Are you're a fan of the self-timer feature on cameras, which gives you time to position yourself for a picture before the photo is taken, then you'll love the newest feature added to Samsung's 16-megapixel MV900F subcompact camera. Once in front of the lens, you can use hand motions to zoom in, zoom out and, ultimately, take the picture. The feature is called Gesture Shot.


-- Consumer Reports Electronics Blog


Did You Know …


The U.S. Census Bureau reports that nearly 60 percent of Americans currently live in the state in which they were born. -- Realtor.org


Going Green: Fitness gym gets sustainable


Off The Grid Fitness in Scottsdale, Ariz., is using elliptical machines and fitness bikes that harness and reuse the energy produced by users. SportsArt Fitness and PlugOut Fitness manufactured the machines and, according to Earth911.com, they are "part of the fitness industry's push towards sustainability." Ten machines used for one hour at full capacity can produce enough energy to power a 27-inch TV for 17 hours.


Garden Guide: Using organic mulch


Mulch should be between 2 to 4 inches deep. Often, when applied, it appears deeper. But after settling, you should end up with a 2-inch matted layer.


Organic mulches include wood chips, pine needles, hardwood or softwood bark, cocoa hulls, leaves, compost mixes and a variety of other products usually derived from plants. Organic mulches decompose in the landscape at different rates, depending on the material. Those that decompose faster must be replenished more often.


-- University of Illinois Extension


GateHouse News Service